Refrigeration kit for the Catalina 387 and possibly others that have a vertical evaporator. Includes a vertically mounted evaporator. Our compressor / condenser unit is cooled by air and by water too by adding a simple sea water circulating kit, see Refrigeration Sea Water Circulating Kit in the May We Also Suggest section below. This is a direct replacement for the Catalina 387, and possibly others, that used a vertical evaporator in the ice box. Check the Dimensions tab and Warnings & Notes tab to ensure fit.
Many Catalinas were equipped with Adler Barbour refrigeration at the factory. By now they are approaching the end of their life for several reasons in addition to normal wear and tear. As a result, upon failure, repair is not a realistic option. The only logical solution is to replace them with more modern versions.
Upgrades that apply to the current generation:
• The old "one shot" (read that as "one chance" to get it right) connectors in the refrigerant tubing have been eliminated. Quick connectors can now be connected and reconnected multiple times. Gone is the need to recharge the refrigerant because of a simple installation error.
• Old R-12 refrigerant has been replaced with a more environmentally friendly HFC134 refrigerant that required a redesign of the unit.
• A high-performance Danfoss BD50F compressor, with up to 25% better cooling performance than the BD35F is now standard.
• The condenser is built to accommodate water cooling. Just add a cooling water supply to increase efficiency.
Refrigeration in a Catalina has always been a bit of a challenge. Ideal locations for the condenser / compressor unit, near but above the bilge, where a cool air supply can be drawn from where the hull is in contact with the water is already occupied. Tanks, batteries and pumps preclude mounting it there. Catalina was forced to locate it in a less than ideal space, inside of the cockpit locker.
Remember, your ColdMachine doesn't create cold air. It moves the heat from the refrigerated area to the area surrounding the condenser / compressor assembly. Inside the cockpit locker, the hot air discharged from the condenser heats the surrounding air. Since it has no escape, and there is very little of the hull against the water, there is no place for the heat to dissipate. The installation manual says it best. "Do not re-circulate the same air unless the compartment in which you mount the unit is 100 cubic feet/2.83 cubic meters or larger in volume, unobstructed, and mostly below the waterline.
The addition of water cooling to our Super ColdMachine helps mitigate the drawbacks of the mounting location. The circulating water absorbs waste heat and discharges it overboard. Simply flip a switch to turn on the circulation pump and efficiency increases. In winter, when the air in you cockpit locker remains cool, just leave the circulating pump off.
If your refrigeration has failed in the middle of the season, its not a problem. Install the new system and use it in air-cooled mode as you have been. At your next haul-out install the optional water circulation system. Next season you have even more efficient refrigeration. Includes 15 feet of pre-charged tubing, pre-charged with refrigerant.
1) Any returns must be packaged in factory's original box and expanded foam protection.
2) Dometic advertises the tubing set is 15' in length. That is likely the length of tubing they start with before manufacturing. When we measure tubing supplied in the box on our shelf, it is only 14' 4". Please plan accordingly.
3) Although the installation of the refrigeration system is not difficult, there is a long list of simple steps that must be completed accurately. Follow these steps in the instruction manual carefully and the unit will work great. Miss one step or complete one step incorrectly and the operation will be erratic and inefficient or perhaps not at all.
4) The small subcontractor that made the welded aluminum ice cube trays for the vertical evaporator went out of business at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. As a result the originally supplied ice cube trays are no longer available and are not supplied with the replacement evaporators at this time.
5) This item does not conform to the shipping table in the Shopping Cart. Additional shipping must be calculated. When you place your order we always call with a shipping quote before billing your card. For a quote in advance, just call 800/959-7245. Adler Barbour / Waeco ColdMachine Model CU200 compressor w/ VD-152 large vertical compressor